SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION
Bridging the old and new Developers transform Roanoke’s riverfront with the region’s largest mixed-use project
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CONTENTS SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION
August 2015 F E AT U R E S COVER STORY
Bridging the old and new
Developers transform Roanoke’s riverfront with the region’s largest mixed-use project.
by Beth JoJack
The mommy brief Women in regional law firms see improvements – but not equality.
by Sandra Brown Kelly
BY THE NUMBERS Keeping score
More than 60 numbers paint a picture of the Roanoke and New River valleys. by Tim Thornton
HIGHER EDUCATION Night and day
27 D 6 7 24
American National University, which caters to working students, has seen its night classes grow. by Shawna Morrison
OUT & ABOUT CALENDAR INTERVIEW: Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech
He made VPI Virginia Tech Larry Hincker is about to end a quarter-century of shaping how the world sees Virginia Tech. by Shawna Morrison
COMMUNITY PROFILE Small-town living Buchanan tries to keep its character and grow its economy. by Gene Marrano
NEWS FROM THE CHAMBER • • • • •
Roanoke Valley leadership program produces 33 new graduates Chamber Champions Event sponsorships New members Member news & recognitions
TOGETHER, WE’RE SOLVING THE HEALTH CARE EQUATION. Providing health care benefits has become a complex problem to solve for your business. Fortunately, the Marsh & McLennan Agency [MMA] and its regional partner agencies have joined forces to offer more ways to reduce costs while still providing quality. Together, MMA and your local agency can provide more resources to review your existing benefit program, assess the feasibility of first dollar or self-insured plans and provide a wider range of benefit providers based on premium levels, plan design and network match. Together, we can move forward. To learn more about how MMA and its regional partner agencies can help you work through the Affordable Care Act, visit MMA-MidAtlantic.com. Our Regional Partner Agencies
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FROM THE EDITOR
Pigskin payoff by Tim Thornton
he Hokies finished the 1999 regular football season undefeated, then lost in the Sugar Bowl to topranked Florida State, 46-29. The Hokies were second in the season’s final Associated Press poll, third in the coaches’ poll. Last season wasn’t as glorious. The Hokies finished the regular season with as many losses as wins. Nevertheless, the Hokies kept their 22year bowl game streak alive and beat Cincinnati in the Military Bowl 33-17. Those seasons have something in common, however. After each of them, someone tried to figure out the impact Hokie football has on the region’s economy. After the 1999 season, the Virginia Tech Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics estimated that people who came to Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s football games spent about $7.6 million during that season – about $81.75 per fan per game. When the 2014 season was over, the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development estimated that fans who came from outside the area spent $21 million, about $110 per person. Even though the per-person spending was a little less in constant dollars in 2014, the total impact was larger. Lane Stadium had 13,000 more seats, and the Hokies played one more home game in 2014 than in 1999. Game day generates more than money. The 2014 study took at least some account of what it called “minor nuisances,” such as crowds and traffic that disturb locals and keep visitors who aren’t going to the game away from Blacksburg on game days. The study also mentioned the increased staff required in the LewisGale Hospital Montgomery emergency room and the additional police presence required on game days. All that, the report said, was outweighed by the money football generates. In a way, the report marked that down as a good thing. Virginia Tech athletics paid $240,000 toward game day security and more than $85,000 for medical and ambulatory services. Those figures were included in the accounting of what Tech athletics pump directly into the region’s economy. The Office of Economic Development’s 2014 study went further than the 1999 study, plugging the $21 million fans spent into the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Input-Output Modeling System. It estimated that the $21 million generated another $14 million for the regional economy. So Tech football added $35 million to the Roanoke and New River valleys in 2014. Well, the out-of-town fans contributed that much. The football operations spend money around here, too. The study uses 2013 numbers for this estimate (the 2014 figures weren’t complete when the study was done), and it uses Virginia Tech athletics expenditures rather than football alone to come up with $25.9 million in spending and an economic impact of $34 million. Altogether, according to the study, the Hokie football team contributed nearly $70 million to the region’s economy during the 2014 season – close to $10 million per game. Most people would probably call that a pretty good return for a Saturday.
SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION Vol. 4
President & Publisher Roanoke Business Editor Contributing Editor Contributing Writers
Art Director Contributing Photographers Production Manager Circulation Manager Accounting Manager Vice President of Advertising Account Representative
Bernard A. Niemeier Tim Thornton Paula C. Squires Sandra Brown Kelly Beth JoJack Gene Marrano Shawna Morrison Adrienne R. Watson Christina O’Connor Don Petersen Kevin L. Dick Karen Chenault Ashley Henry Hunter Bendall Lynn Williams
CONTACT: EDITORIAL: (540) 520-2399 ADVERTISING: (540) 597-2499 210 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA 24011-1702 We welcome your feedback. Email Letters to the Editor to Tim Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org
VIRGINIA BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LLC A portfolio company of Virginia Capital Partners LLC Frederick L. Russell Jr.,, chairman
on the cover Aaron Ewert project manager, The Bridges, Roanoke Photo by Don Petersen
Out About &
This month’s Out & About features photos from the grand opening of the Roanoke Pinball Museum, Advance Auto Parts’ ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the Roanoke Chamber’s 125th anniversary open house and a Carilion Clinic employee outing at a Salem Red Sox game. Share photos of special events at your company with Roanoke Business. E-mail photos and identifications to Tim Thornton at email@example.com
1 1. Center in the Square’s Jim Sears, Center in the Square board members George Cartledge Jr. and Stephen Bowery at the grand opening of the Pinball Museum in Roanoke. 2. Advance Auto Parts along with representatives from Building Homes for Heroes ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on June 22.
3 Roanoke Regional Chamber’s 125th Anniversary Open House event: Pictured are from left: Chris Morrill, Roanoke city manager; Pete Larkin, district director, U.S. House of Representatives; Bart Smith, director, Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center; Charlotte Moore, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors; Greg Habeeb, Virginia House of Delegates; Jason Peters, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors; Joyce Waugh, president, Roanoke Regional Chamber; Cally Smith, director of membership and branding strategies, Roanoke Regional Chamber; Josh Baumgartner, vice president of public policy, Roanoke Regional Chamber; Judy Chambliss, information services coordinator, Roanoke Regional Chamber; Webster Day, Spilman Thomas & Battle and Roanoke Regional Chamber board chairman; Pennie Anderson, communications manager, Roanoke Regional Chamber; and Tom Tanner, business counselor, Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center.
4. Dr. Frank Finch and Dr. Patrice Weiss, chief medical officer, Carilion Clinic.
5. Dr. Eduardo Lara-Torre, Loren Gleason, Dr. Jonathan Gleason, Carilion Clinic.
Calender of events
Items on the calendar are just a sample of Roanoke/ New River Valley business events this month. To submit an event for consideration, email Tim Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org at least one month before the event.
August 6 th
25 Annual Roanoke Regional Chamber Cup Two flights: 8 AM & 1 PM Roanoke Country Club
Business Basics 4 – 7 PM Roanoke Regional Chamber www.RoanokeSmallBusiness.com
JULY JJU U LY LY 2 2015 015 01
SERVING SE S E RV V ING IN N G TH THE E ROAN RO R ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ O AN A NO N OK O K E/ E/BL BLAC BL A C KS AC K S BU U RG/ RG/ RG NE N E W RI RIV VE V E ER RV VA A LL LLE EY YR EG G IO ION ON NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION
Learning to lead Executive education makes a difference in how area execs do their jobs
Abrina Schnurman-Crook, executive director of the Batten Leadership Institute on the campus of Hollins University
If you enjoy reading
Roanoke Business, look what’s coming the last four months of the year!
Marketing Basics 4 – 7 PM Roanoke Regional Chamber www.RoanokeSmallBusiness.com
SEPTEMBER Agriculture Meetings/Events Commercial Real Estate Community Proﬁle: Radford Edward Via - VCOM
OCTOBER International Investment in Region Employment/Workforce Design and Construction Community Proﬁle: Botetourt County Jefferson College of Health Sciences
NOVEMBER Impact of Non-Proﬁts Technology Commercial Real Estate Community Proﬁle: Salem Virginia Tech
August 20 Roanoke Business Technology Council Tech and Toast
The Legal Elite Banking/Finance Retirement Communities Community Proﬁle: Downtown Roanoke Virginia Western Community College
Local panel will discuss best practices for recruiting and developing talent. 7:15 to 9 AM email@example.com
For more information, please contact:
Lynn Williams - 540-597-2499 firstname.lastname@example.org ROANOKE BUSINESS
Bridging the old and new Developers transform Roanoke’s riverfront with the region’s largest mixed-use project by Beth JoJack 8
The Bridges gets its name from the historic Walnut Avenue and Jefferson Street bridges that cross the property. In this shot, the Walnut Avenue bridge stretches over the old AEP garage, which developers would like to see turned into a brewery.
t’s been eight years now, but Aaron Ewert still remembers the precise moment his developer father envisioned Roanoke’s largest mixed-use project. He and Bern Ewert were walking along the Roanoke River Greenway. They came to a spot near the Walnut Avenue Bridge where the water looked particu-
Photo by Don Petersen
larly striking. “The river widens out nicely there,” observed Bern. Although Bern now lives in Charlottesville, he has a long history with the Star City. He served as Roanoke’s city manager from 1978 to 1985 and was project director for Explore Park back in the days when folks still dreamed of it becoming a theme park.
Yet Bern had never witnessed South Jefferson Street from this particular vantage point. “I had never seen it from that perspective because there was no greenway to walk on before,” he says. “I was taken by how pretty it was.” Bern, 72, traded in his civil servant hat to work as a development consultant in 2000. Since ROANOKE BUSINESS
Aaron Ewert in front of the trolley mural at the South 16 apartments. The mural, which Scott “Toobz” Noel did with a photo and spray paint, complements an old trolley barn that’s part of The Bridges’ property. It has been renovated into office space.
then, he has worked on many commercial real estate projects, including Rocketts Landing, a mixed-use development on the banks of the James River near downtown Richmond that combines residential with office, retail and a marina. The Ewerts ambled across the bridge and into the Dominion Metal Products building. Built in the early 20th century, the outside of the industrial building showcases the metal products the business made, including decorative pressed tin. “I was just knocked out,” Bern recalls. “The architecture of the building is quite unusual and dramatic. I said, A ‘ aron, we’re going to do a project here. We’re going to save this building.’” 10
A kind of perfect storm Bern and architect Burrell Saunders took that idea to Jason Vickers-Smith, vice president and co-founder of The WVS Companies, the Richmond-based development firm that created Rocketts Landing. Vickers-Smith responded positively but with pragmatism. “It was a good idea, but we had a lot to figure out to make it work,” he says. Only about a quarter of the projects Vickers-Smith undertakes make it to fruition, he says, “just because of the complexities. Plus, market conditions change. Sometimes it’s not that the project isn’t good, but that the timing isn’t right. So, it takes a kind of perfect storm for things to really go forward and be successful.”
That would turn out to be particularly true for The Bridges, an old brownfield site in need of a new railroad crossing, a historic designation and hard-to-come-by public funds that were a must in developing the site’s infrastructure. In July of 2013 WVS ultimately purchased Roanoke River Associates, the company Bern formed with Saunders and Roanoke lawyer Bill Rakes to get the ball rolling on a riverside, multi-use development in Roanoke. Developers named the project The Bridges after the historic Walnut Avenue and Jefferson Street bridges that cross the property. The name also is symbolic of the project’s goal: to expand the boundaries of downtown along South Jefferson Street. Photos by Don Petersen
Developers estimate the 1 million-square-foot-project will cost between $100 million and $150 million over the course of a decade. It plans to include upscale residential offerings, restaurants, retail, office space and an outdoor festival and music venue called Dr Pepper Park. One apartment building, the park and a Starbucks are already up and running. Vickers-Smith hired Ewert as project manager. At the time, he was selling insurance for a bank. “He didn’t have a lot of real estate background, but he knew a lot about Roanoke and was very enthusiastic … so we knew he could get up to speed and be a good onthe-ground project manager for us in Roanoke,” Vickers-Smith says. They did have one rule for Aaron, who is known for his high energy: “We instituted a company policy that he is not allowed to have coffee ever,” says Vickers-Smith. Another thing Aaron had going for him: he already had a relationship with some of the powers-that-be at Carilion Clinic. The health system proved to be an early champion of The Bridges, signing an agreement for 10 years that allows Roanoke River Associates and then WVS Cos. the option to purchase property owned by Carilion as its prepares to build or renovate. “Carilion has been a great support for us,” Aaron says. Well over a decade ago, Carilion Clinic began working with the city to transform the area around South Jefferson Street from an industrial site – that housed the likes of the Roanoke Mill and the National Guard Armory – to a polished area showcasing modern buildings like the Cambria Suites Roanoke and the Riverside Center complex. The complex includes the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and numerous Carilion medical offices. Across the street from the Riverside Center, Carilion Clinic executives hoped to offer services to students at the medical school as well
as people who worked in the area. “We wanted a mixed-use across the street to supplement that,” says Curtis Mills, senior vice president of facilities and properties for Carilion Clinic. “So we worked with the developers and optioned the land to them and hoped they would do exactly what’s being done,” he says. While the relationship with Carilion Clinic has proven wildly successful, developers faced other complications. “I used to sit underneath the Walnut Avenue Bridge in my car thinking, ‘How are we ever
section of the development closest to South Jefferson Street to the section around Dr Pepper Park. “The railroad has unilateral authority,” says Bern. “If they don’t want to give you a crossing, they don’t give you one.” Bern credits two men with getting that job done: Mills and Bill Barringer. Barringer worked as Norfolk Southern’s grade crossing safety director before his recent retirement. Bern had heard Norfolk Southern wanted Carilion to replace a railroad crossing near Car-
The Starbucks that opened last December is the first tenant in The Bridges’ former lumber warehouse.
going to make this happen?’” says Aaron. A railroad crossing was perhaps the biggest obstacle. Bern knew he wanted WVS to do the development, yet Vickers-Smith said he’d take the project only if Roanoke River Associates was able to secure the crossing required to connect a
ilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. If developers could coax Carilion to do that, Bern asked Barringer if he could help get the railroad crossing The Bridges needed. “It’s not often you can get something done on a handshake, but we did,” says Bern. Carilion Clinic always planned to build a new crossROANOKE BUSINESS
cover story ing for Reserve Avenue, according to Mills, but The Bridges moved the process along. “We agreed to pay to move the crossing, but there was no specific timeline for the work,” Mills explained in an email. “When we started planning to move the crossing we encountered some difficulty … so things languished for a while. Finally, [Bern] put us in touch with Bill Barringer, who helped facilitate things.” When the railroad crossing for Old Woods Avenue was completed at a cost of about $300,000, Aaron knew the project had overcome a major impediment. “I literally came and did a dance,” he says. “I danced on the crossing.” Federal and state historic tax credits were another critical item on The Bridges’ to-do list. To secure financing needed to restore
the historic buildings, the site needed historic district designation. Of the project’s many challenges, Bern didn’t sweat this one. “You look at the age. You look at the style of the buildings and then the fact that there’s a little village of them clustered together,” Bern explains. “It was clear that could be done. There was no doubt in my mind.” He was right to be confident. On Christmas Eve 2013, the National Register of Historic Places listed the Roanoke River & Railroad Historic District. It consists of 47 acres that “developed as an industrial center in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the completion of the Roanoke & Southern Railway and Virginian Railway lines.” The historic structures selected for The
Bridges development sat within that tract. A trickier complication proved to be persuading the city to open its pocketbook. “We had to get the money to make this project viable,” says Aaron. The 22-acre site had challenges. The land, for decades put to industrial use, was a brownfield. As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, the term refers to land with “the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Because the property sits in a flood plain, building costs are automatically 30 percent higher, according to Aaron. Not to mention the fact that the property lacked roads, electricity, water and sewer. “No developer is going to come in here and buy this loca-
Sitting across Jefferson Street from Riverside Center, The Bridges is expanding downtown Roanoke’s boundaries.
Photo by Don Petersen
tion and work here until the city puts in some kind of infrastructure,” Aaron says. It wasn’t a great time to be holding out a hand for money, though. Following the 2008 recession, city governments, including Roanoke, weren’t flush with cash. “The city came kicking and screaming,” says Aaron. “They were nervous about giving money to a big project.” Maybe, but in July 2012 Roanoke City Council unanimously approved a performance agreement to give $2 million upfront for the development and to provide $8 million worth of tax rebates for infrastructure costs if certain benchmarks were met over the next decade. The same year, council also elected to rezone the property the developers had identified as Downtown District zoning — officially extending downtown toward Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. “When they gave us $10 million,” Aaron says, “They were basically saying, ‘Hang onto your hats here, I think we can make this work.’” Big plans The performance agreement with the city stipulates developers would spend the $2 million by August 2014 and another million of their own money by the following year. The Bridges met those provisions, according to Marc Nelson, special projects coordinator for Roanoke. Additionally, WVS Cos. was required to open two buildings by August 2015. South16, four stories of apartments built upon a raised concrete platform — to protect against Roanoke River flooding — opened at the end of 2014. The $15 million, 150,000-square-foot building offers 157 units ranging from one to three bedrooms. “It’s a very modern style which Roanoke isn’t used to,” Aaron says. “We’re pretty excited to be pushing some of the architectural boundaries.” One hundred and fifty of the units are rented to tenants who
include students at the medical school, young professionals and a 90-something retiree. A perk of Bridges’ living: residents can catch the Star Line Trolley that stops every 15 minutes for trips to the City Market for free. Next door sits an early 20thcentury building that once housed the Adams, Payne & Gleaves Lumber Co. Last December, a Starbucks opened in one section of that building. It will eventually hold a Moe’s Southwest Grill and, developers hope, another locally owned eatery. In May, country singer Ashley Monroe played the grand opening of Dr Pepper Park. Roanoke-based Sponsor Hounds creates and manages the 2.3-acre event site, which can host up to 3,000 people for concerts and up to 8,000 for events like the recent Woofstock Dog Festival. Since The Bridges met the city’s charge to open two properties
in three years, WVS is now free to apply for grants to be reimbursed for any costs associated with infrastructure up to $8 million. “Obviously, we’ve proven ourselves to the taxpayers,” Aaron says of fulfilling the obligations of the performance agreement. “We’ve shown that The Bridges is a viable project that will generate a lot of tax revenue.” Councilwoman Anita Price raves about the changes along South Jefferson Street. “It’s changing the landscape of the city itself and making it more of an urban vibe,” she says. Price hopes the amenities at The Bridges may woo some out-of-town young professionals and families to consider moving to the Star City. There’s more to come. Developers plan another residential building on-site. A public kayak launch is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall. Aaron speaks of wooing a gym and a brewery to move into the site’s other histori-
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cover story cal buildings. A public river walk is another part of the long-term plan. “It’s great to get enough on the ground that it starts to look like a project,” Vickers-Smith says of the developments so far. “But there’s so much more that’s going to be done on the project. I’m really excited about the future.” Hitting a triple The Roanoke real estate mar-
ket has changed in the eight years since Bern first envisioned a multiuse community along South Jefferson Street. Since then, one of the city’s largest employers, The Norfolk Southern Corp., announced plans to move about 426 Roanoke jobs to Norfolk or Atlanta — a move that will put its 203,632-square-foot downtown headquarters building on the market. The company has not said when the 11-story building will go up for sale or lease.
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Developers at WVS had initially planned to build office space in front of a former lumber warehouse. Those plans are on hold. “Class A space is not a huge demand right now,” says Aaron. “We may end up doing some more housing there, some retail and a casual restaurant.” The decision not to bank solely on office space for that parcel makes sense to Bill Poe, executive vice president for Hall Associates Inc., a Roanoke-based commercial real estate firm. “Until there are more offshoots from the medical school, I think it’s going to be hard to get tenants over there,” he says. The market for office space will be soft for a while unless an employer from outside Roanoke decides to move to Norfolk Southern’s building, adds Poe. Otherwise, there will likely be a lot of shifting of office space by businesses already in the Star City. “It’d be great if it was somebody from out of town, but we don’t get that many tenants from out of town.” Last summer, WVS snagged a regional office of California-based technology company JDS Uniphase Corp. as a tenant for the site’s renovated trolley barn. Seventy-five employees would be moving from another area office off Peters Creek Road. This spring, however, a spokesperson for the company said the business would instead close its Roanoke County office altogether. “It certainly was a kick in the gut,” Aaron says of the loss of JDS, “because we had hit a home run.” While the building sits empty now, Aaron says two other businesses, each with about 100 employees, have expressed interest in the space. If that’s not enough to cheer him up, Aaron thinks about the packed tables at Starbucks, how quickly South16 filled with tenants and Roanokers delighting in a craft beer and some good tunes at Dr Pepper Park. “Instead, we hit a triple,” Aaron says, “which is still pretty good.”
The mommy brief Women in regional law firms see improvements – but not equality Lori Thompson says, “LeClairRyan allows a flexible hour arrangement. You can work 20 hours a week and still be a partner or shareholder at the firm.”
by Sandra Brown Kelly
ationally, new reports reveal that women lawyers get short shrift when it comes to growth within a firm – and also in pay. Yet attorneys in the Roanoke region paint a different picture. While still not equal in numbers to men, the women see positive changes that have opened the profession’s highest ranks to them. For instance, at LeClairRyan, the partner’s door remains open for women working a familyfriendly, 20-hour week. The national firm, which has offices in 13 states and the District of Columbia, including a Roanoke office, placed 85th on 360Law’s list of “100 Best Law Firms for Women.”
Photo by Christina O’Connor
Law360, a legal news service, based the rankings on the number of women at partner and nonpartner levels and the total number of women lawyers at a firm at the end of 2014. System-wide, LeClairRyan has 380 lawyers, including 91 women, or nearly 24 percent. Fifty-six of these women hold partner status. Among the women, then, 61.5 percent are partners while overall women partners represent 14.7 percent of the firm’s overall lawyers. Of the 56 women partners, 12 have a flexible arrangement. According to Lori Thompson, shareholder and office leader and one of five women in LeClairRyan’s 13-member Roanoke office, the nature of a woman’s family ar-
rangement determines how big a challenge a law career can be. “The practice of law requires a commitment, which is true of most careers nowadays. You need to be available for that period of time if you want to do the typical law career and rise in ranks,” says Thompson. “Not everybody opts for that. LeClairRyan allows a flexible hour arrangement. You can work 20 hours a week and still be a partner or shareholder at the firm.” Thompson, a mother of two, says the support of her husband, Mark, director of information technology with Roanoke City Schools, and his parents, who moved to Roanoke to help with their grandchildren, greatly ROANOKE BUSINESS
law enabled her career. As network representative for LeClairRyan nationally, she has a full schedule that includes the task of putting together teams of attorneys to serve such global clients as Clorox, Google and Deutsche Bank. These companies expect to have a diverse team representing them, which she says “sends a positive signal” for the progress of women in the profession. Signs of change also emerged in a 2014 diversity report from the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL). It found that in the largest 200 law firms in the country, 17 percent of equity partners were women. This was an increase of two percent from a 2012 report, but a long way from parity, the report points out, because since the mid-1980s, more than 40 percent of law school graduates have been women. The progress made in law schools, however, “didn’t reflect itself in law firms,” says William Rakes, senior partner at Gentry Locke and an attorney for half a century. He recalls that his University of Virginia law school class of nearly 250 students had two women. In 2014, female enrollment in Virginia’s eight law schools averaged 45 percent, according to the schools’ reports to the American Bar Association. “Women didn’t have the representation, particularly in management,” says Rakes. He notes that his firm now has a woman managing partner and has become flexible about lawyers working from home. “I think young male lawyers today have a much more flexible attitude toward female counterparts. I see a complete cooperative attitude that might not have been true 25 years ago,” he says. In the past, most male lawyers thought women who were married and had children did not have law as their first priority. “Probably, there was not the level of respect … .” Women account for 20 percent of Gentry Locke’s lawyers. Monica 16
Monica Monday, Gentry Locke’s managing partner, told the firm’s leaders she wanted to be a partner and a mom.
Monday, Gentry Locke’s managing partner, had been with the firm 10 years before she married and then had a child, telling the firm’s leaders she wanted to “be a partner in the firm and a mom.” They said yes, and she worked part-time hours and still made partner. She returned to full time three years ago — when her son was 8 — and became the managing partner, running the firm’s daily operation and also maintaining a practice. “Women are valued as individual lawyers,” Monday says. In her experience, Monday believes women lawyers in the Roanoke area are paid equal to their peers although national statistics indicate otherwise. No breakdown of salaries by gender is available for the area, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014) listed the annual mean salary for a Roanoke-area lawyer at $117,600. According to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession women lawyers make 78.9 percent of
the weekly salary of men lawyers, or $1,566 per week compared with $1,986 for men. The information is based on 2013 Bureau of Labor statistics. That report said compensation to women equity partners in the 200 largest law firms was only 89 percent compared with their male peers. The lack of women in larger firms where the most money is made “brings down” the income, says Rena Lindevaldsen, interim dean at Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg. She practiced with a New York firm in the mid’90s and saw first-hand that women were not well represented in the top levels. “It was starting to change when I was there,” she says, but she finds female students still are concerned. “The perception of female law students is that it is not equal out there. I believe, as a female, if you are led by your dream to pursue that passion and work hard in a male-dominated profession, there is no glass ceiling that cannot be broken.” At the Roanoke region’s largest locally based firm, Woods Rogers, three women have become partners in the past few years, says Erin
When Kristen Johnstone joined OPN Law, she was the only woman lawyer in the office. Now she’s one of two female partners.
Ashwell, a principal. â€œI started at the firm and had two children in three years and was still able to progress,â€? she says. She often works on cases at home in the evening after her children, now 2 and 3, have gone to bed. Family commitments disproportionately affect women, she adds, but she has found â€œcollegialityâ€? among the men and women in her firm. Ten women are among Woods Rogersâ€™ 64 lawyers in four offices. Six women are partners (principals), one is a partner and a board member; three are associates and one is of-counsel, says the firmâ€™s marketing director, Susan Caldwell. Some women have achieved the work-life balance by starting their own practices. Jennifer Dean opened Virginia Immigration Law Center on Market Street in downtown Roanoke when her daughter was 3 months old. Being a single practitioner allows flexibility, although she and husband, Robert Dean, a lawyer with Gentry Locke, take turns transporting daughter Elena to child care. He gets full responsibility when Jennifer is in Arlington where immigration court is held. â€œWe are seeing greater acceptance of women lawyers,â€? says Dean, president of the Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association. â€œWe have to fight a perception. In reality we are as committed to our profession as men are.â€? Kristen Konrad Johnstone, 50, has witnessed changes during her time as a lawyer. â€œWe have our first female on General District Court bench and will have a second one soon,â€? she says. â€œDress standards have relaxed for women. Male judges know to respect us for who we are â€Ś not what our gender is.â€? Johnstone worked in a manâ€™s world â€“ the Charlottesville Police Department â€“ before she attended law school â€“ and remembers being assigned the â€œgirly cases,â€? such as sexual assault and child abuse. Photos by Christina Oâ€™Connor
Jennifer Dean founded Virginia Immigration Law Center when her daughter was 3 months old.
After graduating from Washington and Lee in 1996 at age 31, she returned to Roanoke and ended up at a law firm with six men. â€œI
referred to us as six men behaving badly and one chick. I donâ€™t think they knew what to do with me.â€? When she had her first child four years later in 2000, they threw her a baby shower. In 2003, she became a partner. OPN Law has 12 lawyers in offices in Roanoke County and Salem. Whether male or female, Johnstone notes, success in law depends upon a personâ€™s ability to develop clients. Lawyers move up in their profession by having clients who would follow them to another firm. â€œIf you have an associate who cannot develop clients, there is nowhere for them to go.â€? OPN Law operates a summer associate program that helps current firm members find new associates. â€œWeâ€™re growing our replacements,â€? she says. â€œWe can have 20 students vying for one position. We know all are smart enough, but we are looking for personality, the ability to attract clients.â€?
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Women and the law in the valleys Roanoke Valley
3 attorneys (2 women)
Anderson Desimone & Green Estate Planning, Elder Law 3 attorneys (2 women)
Gentry Locke (also in Lynchburg) Broad-based business litigation Roanoke office: 53 attorneys (11 women) 31 male partners; 4 women partners, 1 woman managing partner Senior Counsel Cynthia Kinser, first woman to serve as Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Coleman & Massey (also in Norfolk, Newport News) Estate Planning Roanoke office: 5 attorneys (3 women) 1 male, 1 female shareholder The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates Personal Injury 8 men, 2 partners Frith, Anderson & Peake Civil Litigation 14 attorneys (4 women) 5 men partners; 2 women partners Frith & Ellerman Business, Medical Malpractice
Glenn, Feldmann Darby & Goodlatte Business Legal Services 10 attorneys (3 women) 7 men, 1 woman principal Glenn Robinson & Cathey Insurance, Commercial, Tort Litigation 6 attorneys (3 women) 3 women, 2 men partners
Johnson Ayers & Matthews General Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution Center 12 attorneys (1 woman) 7 men, 1 woman partners; 2 men shareholders LeClairRyan Corporate Law/Litigation 24 offices in 13 states and District of Columbia with 380 attorneys as of January 2015 Roanoke: 14 attorneys (5 women) 5 men, 1woman shareholders; partners, 1 man and 1 woman. LichtensteinFishwick Commercial, Civil, Criminal Litigation 6 attorneys (3 women) The Law Office of Lumsden and Potter Workers Compensation, Personal Injury 3 attorneys (1 woman)
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Magee Goldstein Lasky & Sayers Bankruptcy 4 men attorneys
Creekmore Law, Blacksburg Intellectual Properties/Business Litigation 6 attorneys (3 women)
Martin, Hopkins & Lemon General Civil, Corporate Business 5 men attorneys
Davis, Davis & Davis, Radford General 4 attorneys (1 woman)
Moss & Rocovich Business, Employment Law 6 attorneys (2 women) 3 men partners
New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Blacksburg Patents 2 attorneys (1 woman)
OPN Law Personal/Business Legal Services 12 attorneys (3 women) 5 men, 2 women partners
The Law Offices of Neyhart & McConnell, Blacksburg Criminal, Civil 2 attorneys; woman managing partner Sands Anderson, Christiansburg Business, Professional 5 men attorneys Spicer Law Firm, Blacksburg General 4 attorneys (1 woman)
Information not intended to be comprehensive.
Sources:Websites and contact with firms.
Poarch Law Immigration 2 women, Christine Lockhart Poarch, Managing Attorney/Owner Rutter Mills, Roanoke office Personal Injury 10 attorneys (1 woman) 2 male partners Spigle, Roe, Massey & Clay, Fincastle/Roanoke Criminal, Domestic, Real Estate 7 men attorneys Spilman Thomas & Battle Business 7 offices in 4 states Roanoke: 12 attorneys (2 women) Virginia Immigration Law Immigration Jennifer Dean, president Virginia Women Attorneys Association Roanoke Chapter Woods Rogers Business and Corporate, Labor and Employment Offices in Charlottesville, Danville, Richmond Roanoke: 52 attorneys (8 women) 28 men, 5 women principals (partners)
New River Valley Cowan Perry, Blacksburg Business 8 attorneys (3 women) 2 women partners ROANOKE BUSINESS
BY THE NUMBERS
Keeping score More than 60 numbers paint a picture of the Roanoke and New River valleys by Tim Thornton
ome people live by numbers. Don’t give them descriptions, narratives or hypothetical scenarios. Give them data. Quantifiable, verifiable measurements. This random collection of ciphers, counts and calculations of cities and counties around the region won’t give a complete accounting, but it may provide some things for the number crunchers and the rest of us to think about.
POPULATION 100,041 293 5,234
The approximate number of people living in the city of Roanoke, assuming the population grew as much between 2014 and 2015 as it did the year before. Number of U.S. cities with an estimated population of more than 100,000 in 2013. The number of people living in Craig County in 2014.
COMMUTING 32 31.7
The average number of minutes a worker in Craig County spends commuting to work each day. The average number of minutes a worker in Fairfax spends commuting to work each day.
INNOVATION 23 93
Number of patents Virginia Tech received in 2014. Virginia Tech’s rank among universities receiving U.S. patents.
TRAILS and RAILS 12,700 16,094 40 120 110 1
Acres at Roanoke’s Carvins Cove, second largest municipal park in the nation. Acres in South Mountain Preserve, in Phoenix, the largest municipal park in the nation. Miles of trail in Carvins Cove. Miles of the Appalachian Trail in the Roanoke and New River valleys. Miles per hour a Class J steam locomotive can pull a 15-car passenger train over level terrain. Number of Class J steam locomotives still pulling passenger trains. That would be the Roanoke-built 611.
Photo courtesy Virginia Tourism Corp.
The percentage of Blacksburg residents 25 years old or older with at least a bachelor’s degree.
The percentage of Virginia residents 25 years old or older with at least a bachelor’s degree.
14.6 4,611 575 1,233 263 452 218 36 45
The percentage of Craig County residents 25 years old or older with at least a bachelor’s degree. Number of bachelor’s degrees awarded by Virginia Tech so far in 2015. Number of graduate degrees awarded by Virginia Tech so far in 2015. Number of bachelor’s degrees awarded by Radford University so far in 2015. Number of graduate degrees awarded by Radford University so far in 2015. Number of degrees awarded by Roanoke College in 2015. Number of undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded by Hollins University in 2015. Percentage of Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro residents at least 18 years old who have no more than a high school diploma. Percentage of Roanoke metro residents at least 18 years old who have no more than a high school diploma.
EMPLOYMENT 7 8 3 1
The number of the New River Valley’s top 20 employers that are government agencies.
Number of new startup companies in the New River Valley in the first three quarters of 2014.
Number of new startup companies in the Roanoke metro area in the first three quarters of 2014.
The number of the Roanoke metro area’s top 20 employers that are government agencies. The number of the New River Valley’s top five employers that are government agencies. The number of the Roanoke metro area’s top five employers that are government agencies.
WAGES $1,050 $770 $780
Average weekly wage in Virginia in the first quarter of 2014. Average weekly wage in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Average weekly wage in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area in the third quarter of 2014.
Average weekly wage of local government employees in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014.
Average weekly wage of local government employees in the Blacksburg-ChristiansburgRadford metro area in the third quarter of 2014.
Average weekly wage of employees in accommodation and food services in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014.
Average weekly wage of employees in accommodation and foods services in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area in the third quarter of 2014. ROANOKE BUSINESS
by the numbers
VIRGINIA TECH FOOTBALL $500 to $12,000
The number of dollars churches, local governments and nonprofits rake in from parking and other fundraising activities each time thereâ€™s a football game at Virginia Tech.
HOME OWNERSHIP 88.1% 67.3% 46.2% $213,100 $244,600 $105,300
Home ownership rate in Botetourt County. Home ownership rate in Virginia. Home ownership rate in Radford. The median value of an owner-occupied house in Botetourt County. The median value of an owner-occupied house in Virginia. The median value of an owner-occupied house in Giles County.
HOUSEHOLD INCOME $63,907 $60,795 $38,145 11.3
Median household income in Virginia, 2009-2013. Median household income in Roanoke County, 2009-2013. Median household income in Roanoke, 2009-2013. Average percentage of Virginia residents living below the poverty line from 2009 through 2013.
Average percentage of Roanoke County residents living below the poverty line from 2009 through 2013.
Average percentage of Radford residents living below the poverty line from 2009 through 2013.
A AUGUST UGUS UG UST 20 2 2015 015 15 1 5
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JOBS 11,308 15,412 18,818 19,646 6,506 22,662
Number of manufacturing jobs in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Number of manufacturing jobs in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Number of government jobs in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Number of government jobs in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Number of health-care jobs in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area in the third quarter of 2014. Number of health-care jobs in the Roanoke metro area in the third quarter of 2014.
BUILDING PERMITS 299 6
Number of building permits issued in Montgomery County in 2013. Number of building permits issued in Craig County in 2013.
DENSITY 202.6 2,279.8 15
Number of persons per square mile in Virginia in 2010. Number of persons per square mile in Roanoke in 2010. Number of persons per square mile in Craig County in 2010. Sources: Hollins University; Radford College; Roanoke College; Roanoke Outside; Trust for Public Land; U.S. Census; Virginia Employment Commission; Virginia Museum of Transportation; Virginia Tech.
Photo P Pho Phot oc credit cr red edit dititt d
ROANOKE ROA OANO NOK KE E BUSINESS BUS SIN NESS
2 23 3
INTERVIEW: Larry Hincker, associate vice president university relations, Virginia Tech
Larry Hincker rebranded and shortened the name of the school that was known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to Virginia Tech.
Photo by Logan Wallace, courtesy Virginia Tech
He made VPI Virginia Tech
Larry Hincker is about to end a quarter-century of shaping how the world sees Virginia Tech by Shawna Morrison
or more than two decades and under four university presidents, Larry Hincker has served as Virginia Tech’s primary spokesman. As a senior communications officer, he has played a key role in a lengthy list of important projects, many of which have had huge impacts on the university. He launched a brand management program that eventually led to Virginia Tech being known as Virginia Tech (instead of VPI or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). He selected the Invent the Future tagline (from about 700 ideas) and launched the school’s first national advertising campaign. He oversaw the creation of the school’s website and content management system and established the university’s news and information service,Virginia Tech News, and VT Alerts. Hincker also opened the university’s first visitor center, then spearheaded the creation of the Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center. He led the university’s communications on the controversial Smart Road and Tech’s entry into the Atlantic Coast Conference. And
during the school’s darkest hour, following the worst school shooting in U.S. history on April 16, 2007, Hincker was there to respond to a media presence from around the world. Sometime this year, the 64-year-old Hincker will step down. He announced in January that he would retire whenever a replacement is hired. His departure comes 26 years after he agreed to head university relations in September 1989 and 19 years after he assumed the title of associate vice president for university relations in 1996. “Somebody else needs to have as much fun as I’ve had the last 25 years,” he says, jokingly. Then he adds more seriously, “It’s just time, really, for somebody else to do it.” When Hincker started working at Virginia Tech in April 1988 as director of educational communications, he says, it was like “coming home.” His family had moved to Salem when he was a teenager, and he graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in 1968 before studying architecture at Virginia Tech.
Roanoke Business: You were pretty much responsible for cementing the Virginia Tech name. When you came here it was known more as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, or VPI. Tell me how that came about. Why was it a priority for you to get people to start calling the school Virginia Tech? Hincker: Well, that is true; it certainly was a priority. People ask me what I’m proudest of, and standardizing our name is at the top of the list. It’s a very simple thing, but look at it this way: Brand is who you are, what you’re known for, right? But brand begins with name awareness. And if people don’t know what your name is, you’re never going to build brand. When I came here and started looking around, I created a business card collection of university cards … It will knock your socks off. Everybody here designed their own business card and so, as a result, many of them also designed their own name. Some people would call it Virginia Tech, some would call it Virginia Polytechnic Institute, some would call it its full name, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univer-
Two years into his classes at Tech, he got drafted and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After spending five years on active duty as a computer tech on flight simulators, he returned to college, but this time to Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. After graduation, he spent 11 years working in Washington State. After more than a decade in the arid climate in Eastern Washington, he welcomed the sight of green trees upon his return to Southwest Virginia. “I just was so happy to be amidst all this lush green,” he recalls. Asked what he will do after he retires, Hincker responds that he has a lot of ideas. He has been offered consulting gigs and has a book idea that so far, he says, is a series of anecdotes about his years on the job. As someone who began his communications career behind the camera – working as a still photographer in corporate communications – Hincker says he might like to get back into photography. “And Lord knows,” he says, “I have plenty of honey-do items at home.”
sity, and other variations. It was chaos. We needed to decide how we wanted to be known. There’s a very, very famous BBC science writer named James Burke. I hired him in the early ’90s as part of a distinguished speaker series program. He did this huge 10-part series called “Connections” for PBS, and he did another series called “The Day the Universe Changed” for PBS, and had a best-selling book. I picked the guy up at the airport, drove him up Interstate 81, while he’s saying “tell me all about your university, Virginia Polytechnic Institute,” in this beautiful British accent. And I told him all about the stuff that we’re famous for. At Exit 118 he sees this new sign that I just had recently asked VDOT to install, a big sign that says, “Virginia Tech Exit 118.” He says, “Oh look, there’s Virginia Tech, is that anywhere near you?” He says, “I know all about Virginia Tech.” That was the kind of name confusion that this university experienced. Now, people know who we are; people are comfortable saying Virginia Tech. While it’s just a name, what really counts is the brand, and ROANOKE BUSINESS
interview by the brand what I mean is what we’re known for. We communicators don’t create brands; we put a spotlight on it. The students and the faculty and our researchers are the ones who create excellence. My job is just to turn up the spotlight. RB: How have you seen the public perception of Virginia Tech change over time, and what challenges or opportunities has that brought about? Hincker: You don’t see the silly little things that we heard when I was going to school, like “all dirt roads lead to Virginia Tech.” I think people recognize it now as being a world-class university. I think one of the areas that we see it very specifically is in attitudes. You talk to leadership around the state and they say, “You want a university that knows how to do economic development, you want a university that’s going to couple with the needs of business, you see Virginia Tech.” We remain Virginia’s leading research university and the only one in the nation’s top 40. We also see perception changes manifested in what admissions counselors call a “first-choice school.” We would do surveys of our enrolled students and we would find that Virginia Tech, while always a good school, also was called a backup school; it was a second-choice school. The numbers now are staggering. Only four percent of the fall 2014 class considered Tech the second choice. Most consider us a first choice. People really, really want to be here. They love it. A recent alumni satisfaction survey, the “The Alumni Factor,” [a college guidebook that ranks colleges and universities based on the experience of their graduates] ranked Virginia Tech first among “very large schools.” [“The Alumni Factor” defines very large schools as those with more than 20,000 undergraduate students.] What that talks about is the special affinity alumni have and the satisfaction that students have.You asked me how are things different? It’s a big university that feels like a very small place. That’s really what sets this place apart. It’s just a tight community. It’s tight in Blacksburg; alumni are tight.You go through an airport, somebody’s wearing a VT shirt or hat or something, and there’s an immediate friend. 26
Larry Hincker has been explaining Virginia Tech for more than a quarter century.
RB: Let’s talk about April 16, 2007. You served as the university’s primary spokesman. You had to tell an unprecedented media presence that Virginia Tech had just suffered the worst school shooting in U.S. history. How did that change you, if it did, and did it change how you did your job? Hincker: I’m not sure it did change me fundamentally. And I think maybe the reason why, as an organization and as a university and as a community, we were able to come through it is because maybe we didn’t change. But what we did do was rely on that sense of community that I talked about. The students supported the faculty and the administration, and the alums supported the administration and the students, and it was a very circular experience. There is one thing, though, that professionally did prepare me for it. I came out of the nuclear power industry, and you plan for crisis. I had been through different kinds of organizations that had various kinds of crises. I knew what it was like to be in that maelstrom. And so one of the things that was absolutely essential for us was we were going to have transparency. I told everybody around here, I said look, this is going to be hard. I said they’re going to ask us tough questions, and we’re just going to say it like it is, and we’re going to say what we know. It was important for us to engage the media very quickly and frequently. I conducted 11 news conferences in eight days. And you know how some news conferences go. You get up there and answer a few questions, and
then you bolt off the podium. We stayed there. They were hard. They were brutally hard. And we stayed until all the questions were answered. RB: You led the effort for the university to go digital at a time when other schools weren’t. Can you tell us about that? Hincker: We were early adopters of these crazy things called websites in the early 1990s. It was interesting trying to figure out who had responsibility for managing the website and how to use them.You found that at many places, because it was a technology, the information technology departments would manage them. But they weren’t professional communicators, and so ultimately we managed to team up and start handling this thing called a home page, and how you were going to present yourself and how you were going to navigate. I thought we did pretty well with the implementation of digital technology. I’ve been pleased with our various websites over the years. RB: One of the more recent things you were heavily involved in is the new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center. What was your role in that? Hincker: It was my project. I was the one that pushed it through and worked with administration to get the funding for it. I’m proud of having that location now where visitors come to campus, and they land at this beautiful building. You go in and have a nice high-tech visitor experience, and we’ve got these digital wallboards and information kiosks with sound bells above them. It’s not big, maybe 3,000 square feet of the 18,000-square-foot building is the visitor center, but it’s really a great way to greet visitors. It makes them feel welcome. One of the things that we’re very proud of up here is the campus. I actually give a talk on the history of the collegiate gothic architecture at Virginia Tech, and I call it the very first branding experience. The early leaders … used collegiate gothic architecture as a way to say we’re a college. We’re a university. We deserve respect, and it really worked. So now what happens is you come to this campus and you say, “Wow, this is what a university is supposed to look like.” Photo by Kelsey Kradel, courtesy Virginia Tech
HIGHER EDUCATION: American National University
Night and day American National University, which caters to working students, has seen its night classes grow
Most of American National University’s students attend night classes. by Shawna Morrison
hen Sarah Russell of Roanoke first started taking college classes, she found that huge class sizes and their “plentiful” distractions weren’t for her. She decided to give American National University – known at the time as National Business College – a try, taking classes toward an associate degree in medical assisting. She was so pleased with the experience that she decided to take classes toward a second degree in business administration manage-
Photos courtesy American National University
ment – while working 25 hours a week through a federal work-study program, tutoring fellow students as a second job and raising four kids who are now between the ages of almost 2 and 11. “I really like the fact that they have small classes. The teachers are usually people who work in the field,” she says. In fact, Russell says, her accounting teacher is an accountant. The program director for medical assisting works as a nurse. “That real world experience is immeasurable,” she says.
American National draws many students for whom a college with a freshman class full of recent high school graduates is not a good fit. Ron Bradbury, American National’s Roanoke Valley campus director, says many students are in the 50- to 60-year-old age range. “When I first started, for about three months, I couldn’t tell the students from the faculty,” he says. “We just had an MBA graduate who was 72. It’s a pretty wide range.” The Roanoke Valley campus, ROANOKE BUSINESS
“Every 10 weeks,” according to Ron Bradbury, American National’s Roanoke Valley campus director, “there’s another batch of students ready to get into the workforce.”
along with other campuses across the state, adopted the American National name during the 2013-14 school year. The school was formerly called National Business College and National College of Business and Technology. Bradbury notes that though many people may not recognize the American National name yet, “we’ve been here since 1886 doing the same thing, although as career technology has changed, our programs have adapted and changed with them. We are career education here in the Roanoke Valley.” Gone, though, is the degree in stenography. One of the school’s latest offerings is a Ph.D. in cybersecurity through its online school, the University of Fairfax. Other doctoral programs are being considered, says American National’s Communications Director Jill Sluss. Bradbury says American National President Frank Longaker and his teams are “constantly look28
ing at the industries to see how they can tweak our current programs or add programs that fill needs. “ The school is housed in the former Conehurst Elementary School building on East Main Street in Salem. American National has a total of 31 campuses, with Virginia campuses in the Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Martinsville and Northern Virginia areas. About 175 students take classes at the Salem location. “The model we use for our teaching is we have a lot of professionals who are working in their fields, and they come back in the evening to teach,” says Bradbury. The programs that have the biggest enrollment are generally medical, business and information technology. Class sizes this term average only 8.1 students. According to Bradbury, the school partners with many businesses. Businesses will call and say they need a certain number of stu-
dents in a certain field, and Bradbury says he and his team deliver. Currently, he says, there is a high demand for entry-level pharmacy technicians and medical coding specialists. “Because of the nature of our accreditation, we are highly accountable for job placement, so we are not able to continue to exist if our graduates aren’t getting jobs. And so we see ourselves as supplying an important part of the workforce here,” he explains. That doesn’t mean finding graduates any job, either. To be counted, a graduate’s job must be in a chosen field of study. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has calculated the school’s placement rate to be 77 percent, based on employment in the field of study or in a related field, Sluss says. The school has a unique schedule, with five term-starts each year. Each term is 10 weeks long. “Every 10 weeks, there’s another batch of students ready to get into the workforce,” Bradbury says.
More than three-fourths of American National’s graduates find work in their fields of study.
At least three-quarters of the students at the Roanoke Valley campus are taking night classes because of work or family commitments during the day. “That’s been a shift lately that’s been more and more pronounced. Nationally college enrollment is down, and as we’ve ridden into that trend of declining enrollment, our numbers are more sharply defined day and night, and the bigger number by far is at night,” Bradbury says. The school serves many students for whom English is not their first language and is one of only a few schools in the state to offer an ESL program approved by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. “It kind of sets us apart from other schools,” Bradbury says. “It’s the gold standard in English language programs.” American National also serves many students in the military. A Wall of Honor in the hallway is filled with framed photographs of students and employees who have served. A small table with one placement setting pays honor to prison-
ers of war and troops missing in action. A decorated Special Forces officer who served in Vietnam, Longaker makes it a priority to cater to those who have served in the military, Bradbury says. Juliann Poff made the drive to Salem from her home in Christiansburg to attain not one, but three degrees from American National. Poff, a senior global sales executive at Qualtrax, which sells compliance management software, earned an associate degree in legal assisting in the early 1990s, a bachelor’s of business administration in 2011, and an MBA in 2013. She said she didn’t find a job in legal assisting after getting her associate degree but she found that what she had learned in the classes was valuable in other facets of her work, so she went back. “I liked the diversity in the classrooms and being an older student,” Poff says. “I felt very comfortable there.” Poff and Russell both say they liked the school’s policy of giving class credit – up to two credits per
degree – based on life and work experience. Russell says she will be able to complete four years’ worth of work in about 2½ years because of that and the way American National’s terms are structured. She will complete her medical assisting courses in December and continue taking classes toward her business administration management degree for another year. She says she feels comfortable both degrees will enable her to find work no matter where she may go.
American National University • • • •
National Business College, now American National, got its start in Roanoke in 1886. It has 31 campuses in six states: Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. School offers more than 45 academic programs. “Famous graduates” of National Business College include Don Lorton, former CFO of Carilion, and Thomas Robertson, former CEO of Carilion. The word American in the school’s name was chosen to reflect its “role as a leading American institution for careerfocused education for students from around the world,” and National to acknowledge its “historical roots and nationwide reputation.” All campuses in Virginia and West Virginia are now known as American National University; those elsewhere are changing this year. Tennessee will keep the National College name. The school’s main building, where classes are held, is located in Salem. Another building a halfmile away, where marketing and financial aid offices are housed, is in the city of Roanoke.
Sources: Jill Sluss, American National University, an.edu
COMMUNITY PROFILE: Buchanan
Smalltown living Buchanan tries to keep its character and grow its economy by Gene Marrano
One of Buchananâ€™s most recognized architectural structures, the 366-foot-long Buchanan Swinging Bridge, is the only bridge of its type to cross the James River. Parts of the bridge date back to 1851.
fter more than 200 years without one, Mary Zirkle became Buchanan’s firstever town manager last October. The new position followed stops as a planner in Bedford and Roanoke counties. “I love the town,” says Zirkle, who was surprised when she found out she was the first manager. (In the past, Buchanan’s part-time mayors were effectively the town’s managers.) Nearly eight months into the job, Zirkle still is working on “figuring what we have and what we need to grow, to meet the needs of citizens and tourists. I want to have a balance.” Earlier this year, she held community meetings as part of a visioning process. One idea put forth by some residents was the need for a grocery story in town. Directing more business toward the James – “growing the river,” Zirkle calls it – also is high on the priority list. One of the town’s first goals is keeping storefronts leased on Main Street (U.S. 11). “I’m pleased with [occupancy rates],” says Zirkle. That rate was pegged at about 85 percent in late June – with several restaurants in the district slated to open soon. Permitted downtown uses are limited by zoning. Pedestrian oriented retail is preferred, and Zirkle says they are still working on the perfect mix. Zoning in the TR “trade district” allows for retail shops, theaters, restaurants, banks, beauty shops, second-story offices — even some residential. The town zoning administrator has final say per the ordinance on whether the proposed business is in keeping with the “pedestrian oriented retail district.” The antiques industry is growing. In fact, January Fodor’s Travel guide online named Buchanan one of the “10 Best Antiquing Towns in
Photos by Don Petersen
the U.S.” Zirkle suggests a trip to the Purgatory Emporium (named for nearby Purgatory Mountain), where several dozen vendors sell their vintage wares. “A real neat variety,” she advises. Kim and Tim Conrad opened The Barefoot Peddler about a year ago and have developed an online presence as well. They’ve already moved once to bigger quarters at 19799 Main St. The Conrads
ness in the town. Kim Conrad says the storefront gives them “a place to work and have walk-ins.” Kim Conrad, who likes to paint and sell furniture, was painting items for friends before turning it into a business. The Barefoot Peddler also carries some antiques. “It feels like [Buchanan] is moving in the right direction … It definitely has the potential for that. It feels like we’re on the up-
Mary Zirkle is Buchanan’s first town manager.
live in Roanoke and were looking for a storefront when they drove through Buchanan and noticed some for-lease signs. Rental rates lower than what they had seen in Roanoke or Salem convinced them to start their busi-
swing.” There’s room for other businesspeople as well, says Conrad. “There’s plenty that we don’t have here.” Zirkle and Conrad both point to Twin River Outfitters as one of the town’s economic engines. John ROANOKE BUSINESS
community profile Fodor’s Travel calls Buchanan one of the “Top Ten Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S.”
Mays and his twin brother, Dan, are the co-owners of Twin River Outfitters, located along the James River on Lowe Street. They rent
kayaks, canoes, rafts and tubes during an eight-month season, often selling out on weekends. Customers can float for the
Buchanan’s Main Street, part of the U.S. Bicentennial Bicycle Trail, connects to the Upper James River Blueway and is not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail and the Glenwood Horse Trail.
day or take a multiday trip, making their way to several campsites the Mays own or lease along the James before being shuttled back to Buchanan. The brothers’ business has been in town for eight years now after starting out in Rockbridge County. There’s a public boat launch next door to Twin Rivers. “It’s been a very good business move for us. We were very happy to relocate in Buchanan,” says John Mays. Botetourt County also launched a marketing campaign for the Upper James River Water Trail at about the same time, an initiative the brothers wanted to take advantage of. Being close to both I-81 and the Blue Ridge Parkway – and right on the James River – helped make the move to town an easy decision. Events the town stages, especially the annual Community Carnival, help give Twin Rivers and other local businesses needed exposure. “It’s good to get people in here. We’re very supportive of the events,” says Mays. The Mays brothers also are branching out, bringing a Roanoke Bagel shop to a building they are renovating across from Twin Rivers. The company is the major wholesale supplier of bagels in Roanoke. The new shop in Buchanan, which should open this summer, will serve breakfast and lunch. Harry Gleason is the revitalization and events coordinator for the Town of Buchanan. He helps schedule crowd pleasers like the annual Community Carnival in June. Now 62 years old, the carnival is a fundraiser for the town’s volunteer emergency services crew. As many as 10,000 show up each day of the nine-day event, says Gleason. “The goal is to attract people to the community, trying to showcase what kind of renovations we have going on, [especially] for people who haven’t been here.” Being designated a Civil War Trail community also attracts
Photos by Don Petersen
people with a passion for history. The restored Buchanan Theatre draws out-of-towners for recently released movies and special events. Gleason says businesses in Buchanan haven’t taken advantage of historic tax credits for renovations so far. “They’re very independent in small towns,” he says. The town is too small to access grants from Virginia’s Main Street program. However, Gleason notes Buchanan will soon sign on as a Main Street affiliate to become eligible for technical expertise. Buchanan had to upgrade its well-based water system about five years ago (residents were advised to boil their drinking water for a while) and turned to the county for coverage after a financial scandal bankrupted the town’s volunteer firehouse. Larry Hall came aboard as the mayor after that incident and helped make the decision to hire the first-ever town manager. “It’s been needed for a long time,” says the retired educator and school system operations director. “We’ve needed someone to be there on duty to make sure things run the way they should.” Like other Town Council members, Hall is a part-timer who receives a small stipend. “We’re in a progressive mode right now,” he says, noting a changing of the guard as older business owners retire or close up shop, making way for others. “It’s an exciting time … but of course we have problems that we have to work with.” One irritant for townspeople: tractor-trailers and other vehicles routed through town on U.S. 11 when yet another accident on I-81 at exits 162 or 168 shut down the highway. “It’s a huge issue,” says Hall. “My sense is that what we have is we’re Mayberry,” says Zirkle. “We like it. We want to try and keep that, and then add the components of river access [while] keeping residents happy in their community. They seem to want a balance.”
Buchanan Founded: 1811, after the towns of Buchanan and Pattonsburg on opposite sides of the James River joined together. Area: 2.5 square miles Population: 1,233 residents, 540 households and 359 families Government: a town manager and a city council l (six members and a mayor). Botetourt County provides some of the town’s services and collects the real estate tax (19 cents per 100 dollars assessed value) before sending a portion of it back to Buchanan. John Williamson represents the Buchanan District on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. Largest employers: Virginia Forge, the Bank of Botetourt service center and the local school system Fast facts: • A principal crossing of the James River via the Great Valley Road dating back to the 1700s • Buchanan (Buck-kannon, not Bue-cannon) is the largest incorporated town in Botetourt County. • People settled in Buchanan because of the town’s location at a major intersection of transportation routes. • Served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. Sources: TownofBuchanan.com website; employer figures from Virginia Employment Commission website per Mark Zirkle; population measured as part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area
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Roanoke Valley leadership program produces 33 new graduates The 2015 Leadership Roanoke Valley graduating class held graduation ceremonies at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center on June 3.
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he Roanoke Regional Chamberâ€™s Leadership Roanoke Valley held graduation ceremonies for its 32nd class on June 3 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. Thirty-three participants graduated from the nine-month leadership training program. The graduates and their sponsors are: Heather Anderson, Member One Federal
Credit Union; Erin Burcham, Virginia Tech Roanoke Center; Cora Carpenter, Norfolk Southern; Emily Connelly, Interactive Achievement; Mary Ann Conroy, Mary Kay business owner; Erin Cooper, HopeTree Family Services; Brooke Ferguson, Virginia Western Community College; Stephanie Frost, Comcast Spotlight; Fernando Augusto Gracia, FRIENDS of
2015 CHAMBER CHAMPIONS Brown Edwards
The Roanoke Times
Gentry Locke LifeWorks REHAB (Medical Facilities of America)
Rockydale Quarries Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC
the Blue Ridge Parkway; Karen Hankins, HomeTown Mortgage; Annie Harvey, Planned Parenthood; James Huffman, Wells Fargo; Sara Jamison, Ferrum College; Debra Johnson, Jefferson College of Health Sciences; Heidi Ketler, NEWSource & Associates; Jeffrey (Todd) Marlowe, AEP Appalachian Power Company; Amy McArthur, The Rescue Mission; Brandon Montgomery, Comcast Business; Annemarie Mulvihill; Marc Nelson, city of Roanoke Department of Economic Development; Tara Nepper, Virginia Western Community College; Anne Newman, Blue Ridge Dental Group-Valley View; Michael Orr, Wells Fargo; Stedman Payne, Member One Federal Credit Union; Stephen Pendergrass, Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group; Shamaill Ross, Allstate Insurance Co.; Elizabeth Russell, Meridium Inc.; Tom Smigielski, Neathawk Dubuque & Packett; John (Marc) Sterne, KPMG LLP; Brian Webb, Union Bank & Trust; Patrick Williams, SFCS Inc.; Maureen Wilson, Roanoke County Parks, Recreation & Tourism; and William Wilson, Bohemian Robot LLC. The graduates are now eligible to join Leadership Forward, the Leadership Roanoke Valley alumni association. It continues the engagement of graduates in the community and supports their integration into positions of leadership in the region.
NEW MEMBERS The following members joined the Roanoke Regional Chamber from May 12 to June 10, 2015:
A Link Marketing County Waste Southwest VA LLC Envigor Muneris
Pepsi Bottling Group
Woods Rogers Attorneys at Law
Women of the Chamber Luncheon Series - May 19 The Maridor Interactive Achievement
Note: Chamber Champions are members who support the Roanoke Regional Chamber through year-round sponsorships in exchange for year-round recognition.
Thursday Overtime - June 4 Beamerâ€™s 25 Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC
Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT American National University’s ESL and paralegal studies programs at the Roanoke Valley Campus have reached milestones. The ESL program has earned a four-year programmatic accreditation extension by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. American National joins Virginia Tech, George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University as the only four Virginia university ESL programs to earn the accreditation. The paralegal program at American National University was recently required to present a report of the program to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, and the interim report was passed. B2C Enterprises has announced the hiring of Molly Doyle as a creative associate. She had previously worked as a freelancer for B2C. Doyle
Dr. Kevin R. Dye, a Roanoke gastroenterologist, joined Carilion Clinic’s medical staff in June. Dye’s gastroenterology practice was incorporated into Carilion Clinic’s group of physicians.
Chateau Morrisette Winery recently announced its wine awards and restaurant honors. Voted by The Roanoker magazine as the best winery within a two-hour drive, the winery’s tasting room features many of the most recent award-winning wines, including Our Dog Blue, a platinum award winner in the Winemaker Challenge International Competition, and 4 White Grapes and 5 Red Grapes, which both received gold medals. In the esteemed Rose Competition at SIMI Winery, the winery’s 2014 Vin Gris, a dry rosé, was the only Virginia wine to receive a gold medal in the national competition.
was rolled out throughout all of Clark Nexsen’s locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Texas, in the spring.
Four attorneys with CowanPerry PC in Roanoke have been named “Super Lawyers” for 2015. They are: James K. Cowan Jr., David E. Perry, Douglas W. Densmore and Tara A. Branscom. Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Radford University and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. The event commemorated the completion of a $2.5 million, yearlong collaboration between the three institutions that was notable for its unique private-public partnership. The new lab supports the three institutions’ individual interprofessional education programs, which allow health-care students to learn to work collaboratively in clinical settings before entering their professions. Jefferson College of Health Sciences held its inaugural Education Foundation Luncheon with world-renowned poet, author and Virginia Tech distinguished professor Nikki Giovanni in May. Approximately 150 friends and supporters of Jefferson College were present to celebrate the college and the recipients of the college’s first alumni awards. David Hoback, chief of the City of Roanoke Fire/EMS Department, and E.W. Tibbs, president and CEO of Centra Health, were named the 2015 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Albert Pavalonis, a four-time Jeffer-
Clark Nexsen has announced that 14 employees have been named firm shareholders. The shareholders are: Chris Aebel; Steve Bennett; Scott Boyce; Vince Chirichilla; Brian Dautel; Whitney Duffy; Erik Dupilka; Rob Harkey; Matt Hickey; Dwayne Mitchem; John Shields; Brian Snyder; Brian Wilson; and Waleed Zoabi. Clark Nexsen, an award-winning architecture and engineering firm with a Roanoke office, celebrated its 95th year in business by unveiling a new logo and brand identity. The new branding
son College graduate and current surgical resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York, and Cornelius Powell, a third-year medical student at East Tennessee State University, were named the
2015 recipients of the Recent Alumni Achievement Award. Chambers & Partners selected eight LeClairRyan attorneys for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Additionally, four of the firm’s practices were profiled in the survey. Clinton S. Morse, an attorney with the Roanoke office of LeClairRyan, was honored as a labor and employment attorney. The firm’s practice areas profiled in the survey include: corporate/mergers and acquisitions (Southern Virginia); health care (Maryland); labor and employment (Virginia); and litigation: general commercial (Virginia). Neathawk Dubuque & Packett (ND&P) won six awards at the recent Virginia Public Relations Awards, a statewide competition sponsored by the Richmond chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. ND&P was recognized for the video “What’s the Human Spirit Made of?” for VCU Health Systems; a magazine article for Our Health magazine; an agency self-promotion; and a news conference and media relations on behalf of PEOPLExpress. The agency won a merit award for the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke. RIDE Solutions has announced the winners of its 7th Annual Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional awards. They were: Barbara Duerk of Roanoke, 2015 Bike Hero; and Don Reid of Salem, the 2015 Extraordinary Bike Professional. The Roanoke Bar Association recognized William J. Lemon, Esq., with the 2015 Frank W. “Bo” Rogers Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize an outstanding lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence in Southwest Virginia. Lemon is a partner with Martin, Hopkins & Lemon PC. The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council announced the 2015 RBTC TechNite award winners at the organization’s celebration. The winners and categories are: Card Isle, People’s Choice Award; Michael Collver, Darrell Roberts and Skip Larrington, STEM Educator Award; Jonathan Hagmaier, Entrepreneur Award; Rafael Davalos, Innovator Award; Dr. Michael Friedlander, Regional Leadership Award; ORIGO, Rising Star Award; Doug Juanarena, Ruby Award; and Dr. Mary Miller and Leon Harris, Hall of Fame honorees. As the result of a collaborative effort between the City of Roanoke and Carilion Clinic, Elmwood Park is now home to Roanoke’s first themed playground. The Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital Playground officially opened on May 15 and features a Peter Pan narrative. The playground is located on the east side of the Main Library near the Elmwood amphitheater. The city of Roanoke and Roanoke Arts Commission have announced the winner of the People’s Choice Award in the temporary exhibition AIR (Art in Roanoke) at Elmwood Park. Voters chose “Ask the Fish 2.0” by Stephen Fairfield as their favorite sculpture in the exhibit. ROANOKE BUSINESS
SPONSORED CONTENT | Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Fairfield will receive a $1,000 honorarium. During the Festival in the Park weekend, nearly 800 votes were cast to determine the award winner. Roanoke County staff member Don Reid was recently honored as the region’s 2015 Extraordinary Bike Professional during the third annual Rally for Road Safety, featuring free family activities led by area law enforcement and safe transportation advocates. Reid was nominated by co-workers and friends for his longtime commitment to bicycling for transportation. Roanoke County Special Events Coordinator Wendi Schultz accepted a leadership award honoring efforts made by the region to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The county was recognized at a ceremony held at the Virginia State Capitol. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Cave Spring and Glenvar high schools as two of the 2015 Best High Schools, highlighting top-performing public schools on a state and national level. The 2015 rankings, available on www. usnews.com, include data on more than 21,150 public high schools. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the state Board of Education recently announced that 252 schools and four school divisions earned 2015 Virginia index of Performance awards for advanced learning and achievement. Two schools in Roanoke County – Back Creek Elementary and Cave Spring High School – earned the Board of Excellence Award. The Roanoke County Public Schools System earned the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award. County schools that earned the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award are: Cave Spring Middle; Clearbrook Elementary; Fort Lewis Elementary; Glenvar High; Green Valley Elementary; Hidden Valley High; Hidden Valley Middle; Oak Grove Elementary; and Penn Forest Elementary. The Roanoke County School Board has announced the following administrative changes at three elementary and two secondary schools: Fiona Hill has been named the principal at Cave Spring Middle School, replacing Steve Boyer, who retired from the school system; Susan Brown has 36
been named the new principal at Burlington Elementary School, replacing Amy Shank, who also retired; Peggy Stovall has been named the interim/acting principal at Herman L. Horn for the 201516 school year; Lisa Coleman is the new interim/acting principal at Glenvar Elementary School for the 2015-16 year; Aric Palazzola has been named the new assistant principal at William Byrd High School; Dr. Paul Lineburg was named the director of administration for the school system; and Terry Hartley has been named the new coordinator of mathematics. The Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau was recently awarded a VIRGO Award for last year’s summer ad campaign, Blue Ridge Standard Time. The award is presented by the Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus. The award is the state travel industry’s top prize for advertising and promotions from destination marketing organizations with a budget of over $10 million. The law firm Spilman Thomas & Battle announced that King F. Tower has been recognized in the 2015 Chambers USA annuTower al directory of leading law firms and attorneys. Tower was recognized as a leading lawyer for his work in labor and employment law. Gov. Terry McAuliffe presented the award for Outstanding Achievement in Bioscience to the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at a recent conference focused on growing bioscience business and research in the state. The Research Institute of Virginia Tech is a university-level Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Vijay K. Agarwala has been named director of high performance computing for Advanced Research Computing, a unit of Information Technology at Virginia Tech. Rajesh Bagchi, associate professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, was recently Bagchi named Richard E. Sorensen Junior Faculty Fellow by the Virginia Tech board of visitors.
France Belanger, professor of accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Belanger has been reappointed to the Tom and Daisy Byrd Senior Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Accounting and Information Systems by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Senior Vice President Provost Mark G. McNamee. Jonathan Black, associate professor of aerospace and ocean engineering in the College of Engineering and associate diBlack rector of research for aerospace systems at the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology at Virginia Tech, has been named Northrop Grumman Senior Faculty Fellow by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. Arthur L. Buikema Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of Ecology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been Buikema conferred the title of “Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus” by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. Buikema has been a member of the Virginia Tech community since 1971. W. Lee Daniels, professor of crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Daniels Virginia Tech, has been reappointed the Thomas B. Hutcheson Jr. Professor by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Senior Vice President and Provost Mark G. McNamee. Thomas A. Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, has been elected to the Association for UnDingus manned Vehicle Systems International’s board of directors for the 20152018 term. The association describes itself as “the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the un-
manned systems and robotics community” in the defense, civil and commercial sectors. Azim Eskandarian, professor of engineering and applied science and the director of George Washington UniverEskandarian sity’s Center for Intelligent Systems Research and its National Crash Analysis Center, will join Virginia Tech as the department head of mechanical engineering, effective Aug. 10. Kevin P. Heaslip, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, Heaslip has been named research leader for resilience for the National Capital Region Research Development Team. Heaslip is assuming this role following the retirement of resilience expert Jack Harrald. Rolf Mueller, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has Mueller received an IBM Faculty Award to develop computing techniques modeled on the mammalian brain. The award will fund research on bioinspired computing for real-world audio signals. Suzanne Murrmann, professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Murrmann Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emerita” by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. She has been a member of the Virginia Tech community since 1982. Julie L. Ozanne, professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the tiOzanne tle of “professor emerita” by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. She has been a member of the Virginia Tech community since 1985.
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Published on Jul 29, 2015
In this issue: Developers transform Roanoke's riverfront with the region's largest mixed-used project; Women in regional law firms see impro...